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Some Wireless Communications Service (WCS) licensees holding 700 MHz licenses are required to file reports to inform the FCC of the status of their efforts to meet construction requirements. The first of these reports is due June 13th. Licensees need to ensure that their buildout is on track to meet applicable performance requirements and begin to gather data that will be required for this initial reporting deadline.
- Roger Noel, Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC
- Carri Bennet, General Counsel, RTG
- Tim Donovan, Director of Legislative Affairs, RCA
- Vinjay Mahendra, Senior Manager and System Architect for 4G Networks, Samsung
Background on 700 MHz Construction Status Reports
In 2007, the FCC established new construction requirements for yet-to-be-auctioned Lower 700 MHz licenses. Licenses that were auctioned prior to the Second Report and Order remain subject to the requirement that the licensee make a showing of “substantial service” in its license area within the prescribed license term. However, the FCC replaced the “substantial service” requirements for licenses that were yet to be auctioned with significantly more stringent performance requirements. These include the use of interim and end-of-term benchmarks, with geographic area benchmarks for licenses based on Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) and Economic Areas (EAs), and population benchmarks for licenses based on Regional Economic Area Groupings (REAGs).
Specifically, licensees of CMA and EA blocks (Lower 700 MHz blocks A, B and E) must provide service sufficient to cover at least:
- 35% of the geographic area of their license area by June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant if the initial authorization in a market was granted after June 13, 2009), and
- 70% of this area by the end of the license term.
Licensees of REAG block licenses (Lower 700 MHz block C) must provide coverage and offer service to:
- at least 40% of the population of the license area by June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant if the initial authorization in a market was granted after June 13, 2009), and
- at least 75% of the population of the license area by the end of the license term. Licensees with REAG-based licenses are required to meet their applicable performance requirements on an EA basis.
June 13, 2011 Reporting Requirement
WCS licensees holding licenses in the spectrum blocks discussed above (except for unserved area licensees who obtained their license pursuant to reassignment of a terminated license) must, no later than June 13, 2011 (and no sooner than May 15, 2011) file a report with the FCC that provides the FCC, “at a minimum, with information concerning the status of their efforts to meet the performance requirements applicable to their authorization in such spectrum blocks and the manner in which that spectrum is being utilized.” The FCC will discuss this first reporting requirement as well as answer questions regarding future build out bench mark reporting requirements in order to assist RTG And RCA members in meeting this upcoming deadline.